A quarter of a century “Step by step”
In 1977, some dynamic people, grouping together a majority of persons with a disability and feeling very strongly about the professional integration of handicapped persons, united. Thus was born L’ÉTAPE, a specialized manpower service assisting persons who want to create for themselves a place in the workforce. As the years went by, L’ÉTAPE was able to adapt itself and respond to the needs of the clients. Since that time, close to 230 persons per year use this service.
Once upon a time… L’ÉTAPE : Why the necessity of a service like that of L’ÉTAPE?
During the elaboration of the project of L’ÉTAPE in 1976 and, which was born in 1977, there was no governmental policy of equality in the matter of employment for handicapped persons. There was neither an organization like the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec. That was the difficulty which there was then to surmount.
It is illusory for a handicapped person to think of advancing in active society by the development of his competences alone. The personal experience in seeking employment of Mr. Michel de Césaré, founder of L’ÉTAPE (at its beginning, L’ÉTAPE was sponsored by the newspaper FEU-VERT of which Mr. de Césaré was an active member), rapidly convinced him of the importance of developing a plan of action to make known to persons living with a physical or sensorial disability. After only one year, the results had surpassed all their hopes and they came in this way to confirm that: In order for handicapped persons to obtain a job, they have “STEPS” to surmount and for an employer to hire a handicapped person, he too must surmount “STEPS”. “Together” all becomes possible…